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The Turkish Armed Forces Assistance Fund, known as OYAK, has entered a deal through its Ataer Holding subsidiary, to acquire British Steel by the end of the year.

Per multiple media reports, OYAK signed an exclusive agreement on Aug. 16 to buy British Steel, which has some 5,000 employees and represents about a third of the U.K.’s steel production. The company's product lines include wire rod. The price was not disclosed, but several reports cited a figure of £70 million.

British Steel has operations in the U.K. that include the Scunthorpe steel works where 3,000 people work, and it employs another 800 in Teesside. Per a BBC report, those sites "are a major strategic asset to our country," said Gareth Stace, general secretary of UK Steel, a trade association.

The government’s Official Receiver said several bids had been received, and described the one from Ataer, Oyak’s investment arm, as its "preferred buyer," the BBC report said. It cited the Official Receiver as saying that, "I am pleased to say I have now received an acceptable offer from Ataer. ... I will be looking to conclude this process in the coming weeks, during which time British Steel continues to trade and supply its customers as normal."

Ataer owns nearly 50% of Erdemir, Turkey’s biggest steel producer, which employs 11,530 people.

Per a report in The Guardian, Oyak has told the U.K. government that "it wants to inject £900 million into the Scunthorpe steelworks to more than double its output."

A Platt report cited the following comments. "We, as OYAK, Turkey’s largest professional pension fund, believe in the importance of merging world league players into our group," said OYAK General Manager Süleyman Savas Erdem." Accordingly, we have achieved one of the biggest achievements of the Turkish steel industry and signed a preliminary agreement to buy the industrial giant of UK, British Steel. We will continue to evaluate opportunities globally inline with our growth-oriented vision and we will continue our investments to provide sustainable high benefit to our members.

Times Microwave Systems (TMS) has completed a major expansion of its operations in Mesa, Arizona, moving from a smaller plant to a new one that has 62,000 sq ft of space.

A press release said that investing in the larger facility was part of the company’s plan to support growth initiatives and more closely service key customers in the western U.S. Production is up and running, with a current staff of 65, and plans to hire an additional 95 employees over the next few years. TMS, a business of Amphenol, is in the same industrial park as other Amphenol companies. The inauguration was celebrated at a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by city, state and company leaders.

TMS General Manager Bill Callahan said that the new operation was a step forward for the company. “It creates a manufacturing center of excellence in the Western U.S. that complements our Connecticut and Florida facilities, allowing us to more effectively service our customers coast to coast. This investment delivers increased capacity, additional capabilities and provides a risk mitigation measure to ensure uninterrupted manufacturing of our products.”

Nexans, a leader in advanced cabling systems, solutions and services, has completed the final test to qualify its state-of-the-art 420 kV XLPE subsea cable for installation at a world-record depth of 550 meters (1,804 ft).

A press release said that the cable testing, carried out by Nexans Norway, was done to meet a specific customer need. The cable is to be used for a project that requires a subsea power interconnector crossing Fensfjorden—a fjord close to Bergen in Norway—which is approximately eight km wide and 526 meters at its deepest point.

The Fensfjorden project is part of a broader plan by BKK Nett AS, one of Norway’s largest power companies, to strengthen the electrical grid in Western Norway. That plan includes a new 420-kV connection between Modalen-Mongstad that will ensure a stable and reliable power supply to over 420,000 residents, businesses and industry facilities throughout the region.

“We have every reason to be proud of what we have accomplished,” declared Nexans Project Manager Ivar Rolfstad. “We have pushed the technological boundaries and (beaten) our own previous world records!”

The new record tops the prior one that had been set by Nexans, for a 20-km 420 kV XLPE cable that was installed in water that was 390 meters deep in the fjord of Hjeltefjorden, Norway.

Nexans developed and produced the Fensfjorden cable at Nexans Norway facility in Halden. Installation on the bed of the fjord will be performed by a Nexans cable-laying vessel, the C/S Nexans Skagerrak, later in 2019, the release said.

 

Hubbell, which is based in Connecticut, announced that it will close two plants in the state over the next five to six months, and move that production to other locations.

A statement from the company said that it plans to close its plants in Newtown and Bethel, which would result in 194 jobs being cut. Per an article in The Newtown Bee, the Newtown location, which opened in 1960, “currently houses commercial and industrial wiring device manufacturing,” with about 140 employees there. The Bethel facility employs 54 people, according to a notice filed with the Department of Labor. Most of the work will move to a larger Hubbell facility in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. Most of the work at the Bethel plant, which Hubbell acquired in 2009, will move to another company plant in Alabama.

Per the article, Newtown First Selectman Dan Rosenthal said that he was told by a company official that the Newtown facility was in good condition, but that it was only operating at about 40% of capacity, manufacturing the exact same product line that was also being made at the Puerto Rico plant. He added that the same situation existed for the Bethel plant.

A company statement said that the closure of the Newtown and Bethel plants are “part of an ongoing operational efficiency initiative that involves Hubbell operations across the company.” In the article, officials for Hubbell, which is based in Shelton, Connecticut, note that the company still has 650 jobs in the state. Hubbell has offices and plant locations across the U.S. and globe, including Puerto Rico, China, Mexico, Canada and Brazil.

NKT announced that it has won a contract from Energinet and National Grid to supply power cable for the Viking Link interconnector project that will connect Danish and British transmission grids.

A press release said that the order from the owners of Viking Link, worth approximately €90 million, will see NKT provide approximately 150 km of 525 kV MI high-voltage DC onshore power cables. The NKT power cables will be manufactured in Karlskrona, Sweden, with production expected to start in 2020. The power cable will run from the Denmark shore to the power grid substation in Revsing, southern Jutland.

NKT Interim CEO Roland Andersen said that the Viking Link is a key project for the North-European transformation towards renewable energy supplies. "The award is a recognition of our technological competences also in the growing extra high-voltage interconnector segment from Energinet and National Grid."

The release said that when completed, the760-km long DC interconnector line will help balance wind production and demand across countries, and closer integration between transmission grids is important for the efficient transition towards a green energy future. Implementation of Viking Link is a vital step towards achieving ambitious renewable targets in both Denmark and the U.K. The interconnector line is scheduled for commissioning in 2023.

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